Van den Berg to start for Sharks

2009-04-09 00:00

Albert van den Berg, the 35-year-old Springbok lock, will make his first Super 14 start this season when the Sharks take on the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

The tall veteran lock takes over from Steven Sykes in the second row and he will add to the Sharks’ lineout options. Sykes has been down with flu all week, but was yesterday passed fit to join the squad in Bloemfontein and will play off the bench.

“We think it better to start with Albert in this game because Steven hasn’t been able to practise flat out this week,” Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said last night.

Bashford said there are no other problems in the squad and the team have prepared well for another tough South African derby.

Sykes will join a powerful bench including Springboks Beast Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis.

Springbok captain John Smit will start in his favoured position of hooker with Deon Carstens and Jannie du Plessis propping the scrum as coach John Plumtree keeps rotating his international players in the front-row.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has made two changes to his starting line-up, with captain and Bok flank Juan Smith, who was to have started last week but played off the bench, leading the side.

The other change is at tighthead where Kobus Calldo takes over from another beast, Bees Roux, who moves to the bench.

The match will kick off at 3pm and will be refereed by Australian, Nathan Pearce.

TEAMS Sharks: Stefan Terblanche; Odwa Ndungane, Adrian Jacobs, Riaan Swanepoel, Luzuko Vulindlu; Francois Steyn, Rory Kockott; Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel, Jacques Botes, Johann Muller (captain), Albert van den Berg, Jannie du Plessis, John Smit, Deon Carstens.

Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira, Steven Sykes, Skholiwe Ndlovu, Charl McLeod, Monty Dumond, Chris Jordaan

Cheetahs: Hennie Daniller; Danwel Demas, Corne Uys, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe; Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Tewis de Bruyn; Hendro Scholtz, Juan Smith (capt.), Heinrich Br¸ssow, David de Villiers, Wayne van Heerden, Kobus Calldo, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Bees Roux, Nico Breedt, Kabamba Floors, Sarel Pretorius, Piet van Zyl, Fabian Juries.

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